Advertising Industry Launches New Initiative To Expand & Standardize Privacy Protections Through Responsible Online Advertising Practices And Enhanced Advocacy | About the ANA | ANA

Advertising Industry Launches New Initiative To Expand & Standardize Privacy Protections Through Responsible Online Advertising Practices And Enhanced Advocacy

Reiterates Call for Congress to Enact Comprehensive Data Privacy Law

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 2, 2023 – Leaders of the U.S. advertising industry today launched a new initiative to boost privacy protections and choices for consumers through evolved and enhanced industry data privacy principles for responsible online advertising practices and to renew their commitment to enacting preemptive, federal privacy legislation.

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and 4A’s are creating the Responsible Privacy in Advertising Initiative to provide policymakers and industry a roadmap to expand privacy protections for all Americans, champion responsible approaches to the use of data in online advertising, and to develop additional guidance and tools to drive compliance with data privacy laws and industry standards. 

This initiative will detail clearly for consumers and policy makers two things: (1) what the advertising industry is for and (2) what it will do to live up to those commitments. In short, the advertising industry is for responsible data driven advertising that continues to support the innovative experiences in content, information, speech, and technology consumers have enjoyed since the advent of the commercial Internet. ANA and 4A’s will continue to support these practices by building on the successful self-regulatory programs the industry created, augmented with learnings from new state laws, and continue to advocate for a national privacy standard through Privacy for America that supports innovative data-driven products and services while respecting consumer privacy.

“The current patchwork approach to data privacy in the United States is frustrating, inefficient, and ineffective for consumers and businesses and risks harming the country,” said Bob Liodice, CEO of ANA. “The Responsible Privacy in Advertising Initiative will offer a better path forward while responding to calls from members of Congress and the public for the industry to do more to expand adoption of responsible advertising practices and to play a more active role in protecting Americans from misuse of personal data.”

The ANA and 4A’s have a history of creating long standing and effective self-regulatory programs to support responsible data-driven advertising and consumer protection. The Federal Trade Commission noted in a 2017 report noted that self-regulatory programs like the Digital Advertising Alliance “improved the level of consumer protection in the marketplace.” ANA and 4A’s are committed to building on that self-regulatory work to address new and changing technology, including through supporting passage of a national privacy standard through Congress, and to help educate policy makers about the importance of striking the right balance between allowing responsible data practices to flourish and protecting consumers from harmful and unwarranted practices. ANA and 4A’s look forward to working with the FTC as part of this initiative to continue to evolve these types of well-functioning self-regulatory standards and build on this history.

“Our associations have created some of the longest running, most widely adopted, and successful self-regulatory programs in business,” said Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO of the 4A’s. “The work that we’ve done through our codes of conduct, the Digital Advertising Alliance, and the Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media, along with Privacy for America’s policy framework, provide a solid foundation on which to build and define the rules for responsible online advertising practices. Integrating the best elements of these efforts and broadening their adoption will give consumers more control over how companies can gather and use personal information, including restricting the use of certain sensitive information for advertising and allowing consumers to opt-out of certain data practices.”

“Without a preemptive national data privacy law, our members need help to understand and comply with overlapping, and sometimes contradictory, requirements in state laws,” said Liodice. “The Responsible Privacy in Advertising Initiative will convene industry stakeholders to develop solutions to support compliance with state laws and industry codes and inform our advocacy for a preemptive federal data privacy law and enhanced state laws.”

The advertising industry is a positive, significant, and responsible contributor to the United States. Advertising benefits consumers by lowering prices, informing them of new and improved products and services, and helping bridge gaps for underserved communities. It benefits businesses by helping connect them to their next customer, generating $7.1 trillion in economic activity, and supporting 28 million jobs across the United States, according to a study by IHS Markit.

ANA and the 4A’s are founding members of the Privacy for America coalition and reiterate their call for Congress to enact preemptive comprehensive date privacy legislation. The coalition’s policy framework would enhance privacy protections for all Americans by prohibiting harmful data practices while preserving responsible uses of data. As Congress has debated data privacy legislation, members have called on the industry to voluntarily implement certain responsible data practices. The Responsible Privacy in Advertising Initiative will respond to this feedback as it integrates and updates existing programs and policy frameworks to guide the industry.

“It is critically important for Congress to pass data privacy legislation that provides clear standards for business and allows the responsible data practices that fuel the economy and contribute to progress in society,” said Kaplowitz. “Our associations are redoubling our efforts to work with Congress to pass privacy legislation that recognizes and maintains the industry’s critical role in driving innovation, business growth, and competition.”


Brendan J. McCormick
VP Communications
Venable LLP
Phone: 202.344.4112